Microsoft is released the first beta of Windows 11, available to those who sign up for Windows Insider. Until now, getting Windows 11 licensed meant Installing the Dev Preview, which Microsoft says is intended for “highly technical users” because it has “rough edges”. According to Microsoft, the beta release is less volatile, and Microsoft has validated the buildings (although it’s still probably something you want to install on a test machine or another partition).
Of course, you need a compatible PC to install the beta. It is clear whether your device will work with the next version of Windows awkward to attach, but a Microsoft article preparing for Insider buildings guides people its system requirements page. The company has said it is paying close attention to how well the 7th generation Intel and AMD Zen 1 processors are performing during the testing period, so it is possible that these systems may release a beta but not a final release.
The beta is also good news for those of us who installed the Dev preview to get our hands on Windows 11 as soon as possible, but they don’t have to be on the verge of bleeding (read: buggy). If you’re like me, you’re in this situation, you can switch to the beta channel by choosing Settings> Windows Update> Windows Insider Program, and then clicking Select Your Insider Settings.
Usually switched from Devista to Beta requires a complete reinstallation of the operating system, but According to the Windows Insider Twitter account, it is possible to do in place for a short time. It’s probably best to jump into it as soon as possible if you don’t need to stay on the Dev channel. I’ve tested it myself, and the transition to the beta channel only required a quick reboot – a small price to pay for what will hopefully run more smoothly until the actual release.
For those who are still running Windows 10 but are excited enough to join the beta, you can sign up for the Microsoft beta program here. Of course, while Microsoft says Beta Channel releases are more stable than Dev Channel releases, they are still beta. There are likely to be bugs, crashes and missing features – Microsoft even has a full list of current issues in his blog post, which also says that the Teams Chat feature is available to some on the Dev channel is not yet available for beta users.
But if you’ve had the itch to try Windows 11, it’s now in a stable enough place that Microsoft is willing to call it ready for early adopters (you could say on the verge of living).